Not having had my laptop functioning and with me at all times has seriously hindered my ability to research and listen to new music, but I haven’t been able to escape mention of Bastille. A million friends on Facebook already like them, the Guardian has named them ‘new band of the week’ whatever that means (circa July. I’m behind, whatever. I live in the Scottish countryside when I’m not in Liverpool), various other publications have hailed them as the next big thing, which is always damning. They’ve even been played on Radio 1. By Grimmy, none-the-less. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when I finally sat down and gave them a listen. Indie sentiments, with hip-hop (ish) beats. Generally just really great, catchy songs with lyrics that get to the point. Nothing pretentious, and a lovely vocal from Dan Smith.
I was excited to see them live, but also slightly concerned that the electro elements of their music would fall flat on stage. I needn’t have worried. The hip-hop tinged production lent a club atmosphere to a crowd that would normally have been swaying awkwardly and mouthing half-learnt lyrics. If you’ve never seen a 17-year-old boy in jeans tight enough to seriously impair fertility and a shirt buttoned all the way up trying to grind in a somewhat urban fashion, then put that straight on your bucket list. It was precious, really.
Obviously, the singles went down a storm (Flaws, Icarus, Overjoyed and Bad Blood), but there was no lull in enthusiasm for the lesser-known tracks and you could have heard a pin-drop during the slower-tempo songs, which really highlighted the sweet, strength of Dan Smith’s voice and delivery. The set had a great structure, distributing the crowd pleasers and ballads evenly and ending on a high with a couple of brilliant covers: a genius, nostalgia-inducing version of What Would You Do? by City High and a pretty rendition of Snap!’s Rhythm Is A Dancer.
Truly, a great gig – right down to the supporting acts, the intriguing Tom Odell and the odd, but awesome Swiss Lips, who really set the standard for the night. I wouldn’t hesitate to see them all again, and will definitely be legally downloading a selection of songs just as soon as I get my bloody netbook back on the road.